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1

Prior to my use of in medias res as a campaign start, I took time to develop the characters with the players. We discussed back stories and even picked equipment. The players were familiar with their characters. The game began with, "You have all been slaves of the hobgoblin king for many years. Your only possession is your loincloth. A mighty swordsman ...


1

There are already several great answers. I will only add some highlights from my experience that demonstrate successful use of in medias res. In medias res is a tool I have used many times at gaming conventions. You normally have a four hour slot, so you don't have the luxury of slowly building a story arc amidst an organically growing group of ...


1

I think the two rules are: You (GM) must not punish the players or characters for decisions taken in player ignorance of character knowledge that you withheld for the purpose of drama (where that knowledge would have allowed them to make a better decision). You must not leave the players unable to make a decision because they feel that it depends on ...


7

Roleplaying is a situation where the players are both the creators and audience improvising at the same time. Other forms of media the creators know what the reasons are,or, effectively have time to develop/discover it, and craft and edit that long before the audience gets to seeing the results. Because of this, you end up with three choices when you want ...


3

A system like Roll for Shoes, where your character develops from their actions, might work well with in medias res. More generally, building a character creation system around in medias res might work. Each player's actions in the game have mechanical impact on the character they are creating. Asking about detail, or narrating that detail, might get you ...


6

Preface: I love the in medias res technique in literature and I am fascinated by its potential uses in gaming. I even named one of my campaigns In Medias Res because that's how it started. Despite that, I am skeptical that it is a general purpose, out-of-the-box tool for everyday use. There are both player management issues and narrative design issues ...


8

I've used the in media res start several times, and I've found it works best when player characters have a succinct, easily-described goal in the midst of action that can also be easily delineated. The goal keeps players focused and gives them enough that they're not too frustrated by the relative lack of surrounding information. As the action unfolds, that ...


10

It's important to note that while in literature the two are often synonymous, in media res does not mean "without information" but rather "in the middle of the action". In my experience, this is actually a fairly typical way to start off Action or Mystery games. The key is not to provide a high action situation with no information, but rather to provide ...


5

In general, I would say that starting in media res can work well, and is a useful perspective to consider when starting any game, at least as a contrast to the way you otherwise had in mind to start. That's because, in my experience, one of the greatest obstacles to player involvement in an RPG background, is lack of familiarity and density and remoteness of ...


-2

One solution is take the in media res scenario one step further and tell your players they are suffering from a form of amnesia. Therefore there's no need for long exposition by the GM. In fact the players themselves have to discover who and where they are while reacting to a dangerous situation at the same time. Quoting from the 2000 film Memento, where ...


18

The narrative technique can work so well in literature, film and video That is because none of those who make decisions are put into the situation abruptly. Those three are passive arts. It's a technique for passive observers of the action. It's only "in medias res" for those who do not need to make any decision. To capture that feeling you need to ...


17

Let the players make up all that stuff! How about letting the players fill the rest of the exposition? So following from your quote: Wilma: (shouts) "I'll cover you. GO!" I turn dive behind the garbage cans in teh alley, drawing my gun. That first goon is going to have a nasty shock. The rest will get suppression fire. Craig: (over comms) "Debbie, ...



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